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America's Cup- Tributes flow after Gold Medalist dies in AC72 capsize

by Richard Gladwell on 11 May 2013
Andrew Simpson (crouched) and Iain Percy racing at the 2012 Olympics in Weymouth © Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz

Artemis Racing have confirmed that 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist and 2012 Olympic Silver Medalist in the Star keelboat class, Andrew 'Bart' Simpson has died in a training incident in San Francisco.

Simpson was pulled from the water after the incident, and CPR was attempted on the water and ashore, but was not successful, and he was pronounced dead. He was 36 years old.

'The entire Artemis Racing team is devastated by what happened,' said CEO Paul Cayard. 'Our heartfelt condolences are with Andrew’s wife and family.'

Simpson was one of Britain's top sailors and very close friend of the Sailing Director for Artemis Racing, Iain Percy (GBR) and together the two won two Olympic medals in Qungdao and Weymouth Olympics.

Simpson had only recently joined the team after a crew reshuffle earlier in the year, when Simpson was bought aboard.

He leaves a wife and young family.

Sail-World expresses our condolences to his family, team and many friends.

Iain Percy OBE, long-term friend and Artemis Racing teammate with whom Andrew Simpson won his Olympic Star gold and silver medals, has commented: 'Yesterday I lost my closest friend of over twenty five years, the friendliest and kindest man I have ever met. I cannot believe he is no longer with us.

'Now all our thoughts should be with his wife and two amazing boys who meant the world to him. Andrew has more friends than anyone and we will continue to support his family with all our hearts.'

Emirates Team NZ commented: 'Emirates Team New Zealand is shocked by the tragic death of Artemis Racing crew member Andrew Simpson in a training accident today on San Francisco Bay. Managing director Grant Dalton said the team extends its condolences to Andrew Simpson’s family, friends and to the Swedish team.'

Oracle Team USA commented: 'Today is a sad day for all of us in the sailing community. Andrew Simpson was a great person, a terrific sailor, and a good friend to all of our team. Our thoughts are with his family and the entire Artemis team. He will be dearly missed.'

America’s Cup statement: The thoughts of everyone involved with the America’s Cup are with the family of Andrew Simpson and the members of Artemis Racing.

Andrew was an immensely popular and respected member of the sailing community, and his two Olympic medals were testament to his talent.

His easy-going personality made him loved by many; always friendly, always smiling and always supportive of others.

John Derbyshire, RYA Performance Director: 'We’re devastated by the news from San Francisco today. Andrew is someone I’ve worked closely with since the age of 16 – he was a great talent, and a key figure in our World Class Programme over many years culminating in his well-deserved Olympic success. He was a huge inspiration to others, both within the British Sailing Team and across the nation and our deepest sympathies go out to his family at this terrible time.'

Stephen Park, RYA Olympic Manager: 'Andrew was a fantastic sailor who got the best out of everyone he sailed with. He was much loved and will be sorely missed by everyone in our close knit team. Our thoughts today are with Andrew's family.'

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